Pakistan Activists Object to Draft RTI Ordinance in KP

29 July 2013

Civil society groups are objecting that the proposed right to information ordinance in Pakistan’s province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was watered down.

The Coalition on Right of Information (CRTI) and allies held a press conference July 24 recently to oppose the bill which was changed in early July by the Cabinet.

CRTI coordinator Zahid Abddullah said the ordinance would be highly ineffective and is riddled with a number of anomalies and flaws, according to a report in The Nation.

“If the Ordinance was promulgated according to the present drafted document, then it will end up curtailing rather than protecting and promoting citizens’ Right to Information,” he said. The plan for a one-person information commission with limited authority is flawed, he said, and there are far too many exemptions.

A government spokesman of the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa said the amended draft will be presented to the governor soon for promulgation as an ordinance. After that, it is up to the Provincial Assembly to take action on it within the stipulated 90 days.

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